RV slideouts date back 70-80 years

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The slide-out has become a popular feature with American RV manufacturers in recent years but the idea is by no means new. Even 70–80 years ago British caravan constructors were making models with slide-outs to extend sleeping space or create toilet or kitchen wings. One such development was the Extensicar, patented in 1930 by John and Mary Purdey of Wolverhampton, England. A rack-and-pinion mechanism operated by a handle at the rear of the caravan (RV) wound out extensions on both sides of the body.

slideout mh imageD H Morgan, who made ‘Fairway’ caravans at Deganwy in Caernarfonshire, designed a slide-out toilet compartment and then, under a license to use the Extensicar patent, went for more ambitious extensions. In 1937 he built a caravan for the actor Claude Dampier which boasted four slide-outs, two each side to the front and the rear of the wheel arches. Dampier was a comedy actor, famous for his nasal drawl and portrayal of country yokel types.


The illustration above was found in postwar World War II editions of The Caravan Manual from Link House, publishers of The Caravan magazine. The Bedford Carlight wears the headlight masks which were obligatory during the wartime “blackout.”

Source: Motorhome Monthly

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Tom M.

Slide Outs! My wife and I wintered in Clearwater,Florida until she passed away in 2012. We lived in our 1989 travel trailer. It had two TIP OUTS! One in the dining/living area and one in the bedroom. When I first saw the unit I couldn’t believe it! I was told that when you wanted to move the unit you got a few friends together and lifted the “Tip Out” into the main section of the trailer. There was something, possibly plywood that covered the opening left by the tip out. The ceilings were curved or slanted from the highth of the main trailer to the outside wall which was about 5 or 6 feet. I realized that there were many of these in my park. The ceilings in the main section were very low, maybe 6 to 6&1/2 feet. Ours was one of the fancy ones with an early version of vinal siding. We enjoyed it and our fellow “snow birds” from many states and many from eastern Canada. The lots were very small, basicly wide enough for your unit and one car. Many of them had “Florida Rooms” attached to the side almost as long as as the main trailer! And yes the Tip Outs tipped into and out of the main section of the trailer!